I used to think that running was as simple as throwing on a pair of sneakers and moving swiftly through the streets. There is so much more to running than that. My lack of knowledge is how I got injured time and time again. I have learned so much in the past few months, some of these things I should have already known.
After the Long Island Half Marathon I continued with my routine care with the Sports Chiropractor, whom I still continue to see. In addition to the ITB Syndrome, I was experiencing a secondary pain. This pain would start sporadically on my runs and never at the same time or distance. I would feel discomfort in the same exact place below my knee and to the left. I had several treatments for this pain, all with no relief. On a warmer day I decided to wear knickers for my run. Of course I would look stupid if I wore compression socks with short pants, so I didn’t. I ran for miles without pain. It was wonderful. I then tried to figure out what was different about this run from all the other runs. The socks! The damn socks! The socks were the source of this secondary pain! I brought them to the next visit I had with the Chiropractor and we had a good laugh about it. The socks never bothered me in the cold weather but the warmer weather made my muscles expand and contract in a different way. I have other compression socks that are more suitable for running but, at this point, I’m deathly afraid of them.
My original discomfort from the ITB Syndrome continued. It was advised that I use a foam roller, which is something I should have been doing regularly as it’s great for all types of athletes. The first time I used it I thought I would vomit from the release of the tension in my muscles, I had only felt that way once before. I am now a changed woman and an advocate for the beloved foam roller. It didn’t cure my discomfort but it was a positive step towards wellness.
During one of my regular visits to the Chiropractor, I wasn’t my jubilant self. I expressed my exasperation towards my situation and questioned running in general. At the time I had the firm belief that running sucks. Why do I run? Why do I want to run? Running is hard and it hurts. I’ll get into the remedy of how to make running easier in a minute but for now I’ll focus on this particular visit. He said that I needed to strengthen my supporting muscles. My hips, my glutes, and my IT Band all needed strengthening. He advised that I do a couple of different exercises but, me being me, I researched it more and found this glorious resistance band routine. Not only are my supporting muscles stronger but my booty never looked this great in my life. Needless to say I will continue with this routine. I gradually increased the resistance to the hardest band in my set. I feel the burn and bask in the joy that it brings me every time.
Running sucked because of my attitude towards it, and also my lack of a good support bra. Every run I did had to be hard or fast. Every run that I did started getting tough during the warmup. Even the recovery in between the intervals were tough. There was nothing easy about running. I had a couple of runs with my coach and she taught me a few things. She taught me the concept of easy and recovery. I found a great high impact sport bra and, with a new attitude, I started enjoying running.
On most days I love to run. I look forward to my runs. I have a new sense of adventure. I run in places that I’m curious to see or places that I’ve been on my bike that I want to have a closer look at. I look on maps to find new places to explore. Last week I ran for relaxation. I gently placed each foot on the ground and moved with no great purpose or urgency. I ran to experience the joy of running. I made my way up and down the rolling hills and took in the beautiful sights and aromas. At the end of my run I was almost dry, I had barely broke a sweat. I can enjoy my runs as I enjoy my rides. I no longer question why I run. It’s no longer only about the things I would like to accomplish but a deeper feeling of serenity, at times. Of course I’m still going to work on getting faster. I still have goals and wish to accomplish them but I also know that going easy is part of attaining these goals.
This coming Saturday I will do a scenic half marathon in the Hamptons which I will tell you all about afterwards. If all goes well I will run my very first full marathon in four weeks! Thank you for your continued support and your patience during my time of transition into a new sport. Thank you all for reading!